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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Reason to De-Fund PBS: Che Guevara

Yet another reason to defund all public broadcasting can be found in the efforts of Agustin Blazquez. He is a Cuban exile who has been trying to get the truth out about men like Che Guevara. Guevara's image is everywhere. He's held up as a revolutionary hero. Lies about who he really was are repeated over and over again. In truth, Guevara was a racist and a cold-blooded killer of innocent people. Blazquez made a documentary about Guevara on a shoe-string budget and did most of the work himself. However, he did so only after trying to get the help of PBS.

Via Pajamas Media:
He learned that grants and prizes for documentaries in his series “Covering Cuba” would not be forthcoming. The latest, and seventh, titled Che: The Other Side of an Icon, was produced on a budget of $14,000. Only about $4,000 of that was from a non-profit that he had started himself. He had submitted a more typical budget of $494,000 to CPB-PBS (Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting System). Blazquez had no success with the publicly supported organization, nor did he with the taxpayer-supported American Film Institute in his other projects. In fact, he could not even get an airing on POV (Point of View), the program created by PBS specifically for the purpose of airing “controversial” films.

Still, Blazquez, by changing his approach and scaling back, and doing his own editing on his own equipment, has managed to produce a compelling film that demolishes the radical heartthrob’s reputation as a brave guerrilla fighting on behalf of the oppressed.
When one contrasts that reality with the success of another film that glorified Guevara, it becomes painfully obvious that propaganda and a denial of truth is in more demand.
Nevertheless, the narrative put out in a press release by the AFI for the 2008 film by Steven Soderbergh simply titled Che, describes Che “galvanizing poor peasants into a military force that can take on trained professionals.” The same AFI turned down Blazquez’s third film on Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban refugee who was forcibly sent back to Cuba under President Clinton after his mother had drowned during their escape.

Contrary to AFI’s depiction, Che’s delight was in shooting 240 defenseless victims, some as young as 15. Political prisoners say the real number is much higher. Che also delighted in having people and their children rounded up off the street and forced to watch executions.
Meanwhile, Democrats are bemoaning Republican attempts to defund Public Broadcasting and they're using puppets as props in doing so. If the Republicans were smart, they'd point to things like this. One man tries to use public dollars to tell the truth about a racist, cold-blooded killer and is repeatedly denied. Yet, another film that portrays Guevara as a man of the people who fought against oppression is successful.

Read it all.

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